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Old 05-26-2014, 08:16 PM   #1
JTexas
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Which version of linux would be best for my needs?


Hello everyone I am new and am doing research on which version of Linux to acquire. Most of the software I use is related to school because I am new to this whole IT world. I would like to run the following software Visual Studio, Notepad ++, Evernote, Firefox, Netbeans, Adobe Acrobat, MS Office (mainly Word and Excel), some type of video editor (still exploring which one). Also I would like to run/play some of my games like Fallout 3, XCom (via Steam) and the like. I am leaning toward Mint. I have no idea what would be best. Please remember that I am new. Thanks. J
 
Old 05-26-2014, 09:19 PM   #2
frankbell
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Quote:
I would like to run the following software Visual Studio, Notepad ++, Evernote, Firefox, Netbeans, Adobe Acrobat, MS Office (mainly Word and Excel), some type of video editor (still exploring which one).
You will not find any version of Linux that you can use to run Windows programs, just as Mac programs will not run on Windows; the OSs are different. It's the same like you can't drive a boat down the freeway nor a car across the pond. If you must run those particular programs--if that precise suite of software is required by your schooling, you are best sticking with Windows.

You may be able to run some of the programs you list using wine, but you can generally find native Linux programs that can do what Windows programs can do.

Firefox offers Linux and Apple versions; most native Linux text editors are equal to or superior to Notepad++; LibreOffice offers a powerful office suite; and so on. Here's a list that might help: http://wiki.linuxquestions.org/wiki/...ndows_software

Last edited by frankbell; 05-26-2014 at 09:23 PM.
 
Old 05-27-2014, 09:35 AM   #3
ReaperX7
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Visual Studios can be duplicated with KDE's Developer Suite combined with GCC and/or LLVM. Pretty much from there just research the UNIX alternatives you'll need to create possibly cross-compiled projects.

For the purpose of development of software, I honestly, and as always, would recommend Slackware because of how stable it is with software. This will allow you some abilities to see how accurate things run in a finely tuned environment for accurate debugging.
 
Old 05-27-2014, 10:17 AM   #4
johnsfine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTexas View Post
doing research on which version of Linux to acquire.
Sounds to me like Linux won't do what you want. You'll probably end up staying with Windows. If you think I might be wrong about that, provide more details on why you want to switch to Linux and how/why you use the more Windows specific of the programs you listed.

Quote:
Visual Studio
I wouldn't bother trying to run that in Linux/wine. There are many IDE's available for Linux. None are as good as VS, and if you are already experienced in VS you will see them as doubly bad because they are totally different from VS even in the places they are not outright worse.

Most IDEs you could run on Linux also run on Windows. If an IDE is important to you, try CodeBlocks or other portable IDE on Windows first before deciding if you can move to Linux.

Quote:
Notepad ++
Using a Windows text editor in wine isn't very hard, but I think it is pointless. You need to be comfortable in some Linux text editor to be comfortable in Linux. I prefer Notepad++ to any text editor I ever tried in Linux, but opinions vary. Anyway, you can get used to using some Linux text editor in place of Notepad++.

Quote:
Evernote
I never heard of it.
Quote:
Firefox
Surprisingly Firefox is slightly worse in Linux than in Windows. Many sites get their fonts and metrics correct for those running Firefox in Windows, but wrong for those running Firefox in Linux. It isn't actually a fault of Firefox in Linux. It is a fault of those websites. But for the end user it feels like a fault in Linux Firefox. Add ons can also be trickier to get installed correctly in Linux Firefox (again because the add on provider doesn't care enough to get it right, not because of any inherent fault in Linux Firefox). Bottom line is all of that is slight. But it is still slightly worse.

Quote:
Netbeans, Adobe Acrobat
I don't know.

Quote:
MS Office (mainly Word and Excel),
Other have succeeded in getting those to work in wine. I failed. The freeware alternatives are much heavier in ram and CPU use. But if your use of Office is on tiny files you won't care or if you have a powerful CPU and lots of ram you won't care. Freeware office alternatives are worse, but not intolerable.

Quote:
some type of video editor (still exploring which one).
On that one, Linux wins.

All my experience with both video and still image import and edit has been far smoother and easier in Linux than in Windows. Freeware products are easier to learn and easier to use than commercial alternatives. Interaction with the OS (for USB or firewire transfer) is smooth and automatic in Linux freeware programs and often a nightmare to get right in Windows commercial alternatives.

Quote:
Also I would like to run/play some of my games like Fallout 3, XCom (via Steam) and the like.
I have zero knowledge of individual games, but as a general rule game publishers ignore Linux making Linux a rotten platform for popular games.

Quote:
I am leaning toward Mint. I have no idea what would be best.
Close to zero of what you need to consider involves any differences between Linux distributions. For your purposes Linux is Linux. Overall I expect you won't like it. You still won't like it regardless of which one you choose.

If I'm reading into your question a Windows bias that isn't really there, I would be happy to be proven wrong. But I'm much more confident of my conclusion that you are looking at Linux vs. Windows questions, not this Linux vs. that Linux questions.

Last edited by johnsfine; 05-27-2014 at 10:19 AM.
 
Old 05-27-2014, 10:28 AM   #5
rokytnji
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I'm from Texas and run Linux just fine.

So good luck with it. Dual boot internally or running persistent off of usb is not impossible and teaches one new things while keeping Windows.

Mint 17 Mate edition would be a good choice but it is in RC stage right now which means it is a bug reporting release candidate.

If you can wait a few weeks. The final should be released soon.

Happy Trails, Rok
 
Old 05-27-2014, 11:47 AM   #6
DavidMcCann
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I'd confirm the recommendation to start with Mint. No-one it's recommended to ever comes back with an indignant "Why did you tell me to use that?!"

For software, you can see equivalents to Windows programs here:
http://linuxappfinder.com/alternatives
So, we look for EverNote and get 7 suggestions. The best one to use will be the one actually in Mint — probably Tuxcards or Xournal.

Every Linux comes with a text editor and pdf reader. Netbeans and Firefox have Linux versions. For word-processor and spreadsheet, you get LibreOffice.
 
Old 05-27-2014, 12:16 PM   #7
johnsfine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidMcCann View Post
I'd confirm the recommendation to start with Mint. No-one it's recommended to ever comes back with an indignant "Why did you tell me to use that?!"
Can I be the first then?

More than a few years ago, after being away from Linux for so long that I was a complete newbie, I started using Linux. Based on all the advantages of Mint described by online advice, Mint was one of the first few I tried. I failed totally to get it to work. I could not get any resolution above 320x200 to work on the strange combination of of display card and CRT I was using. I could only get one of the two CPUs to be recognized. Pretty much everything else failed as well. I couldn't get any answers to online questions, because no one seemed to answer Mint questions. I certainly had the reaction "why did all that online advise tell me to use Mint" after I discovered other distributions were easier and especially after I discovered Mepis was so so much easier and better documented.

Mepis has long since stopped being the clearly best beginner friendly distribution that it once was. Computers have gotten better. Linux distributions have increased their level of "out of the box" hardware support. Everything I once learned about Mint being a terrible distribution is now obsolete.

There still are cases where a particular computer or a particular intended usage is a terrible fit for some mainstream general purpose distribution of Linux. It is sill possible (though less likely than in the past) that a beginner will run into a big enough distribution-specific roadblock that it is easier to start over with a different distribution than solve the issue. An expert might start with any distribution and then solve any issue. Fundamentally Linux is Linux. But that is no help for a beginner.

I just see no evidence that the occasional cases of such distribution-specific problems are predictable before you try. Once upon a time, Mepis was so much more beginner friendly that it was simply the right choice for beginners (but few beginners ever found that out). Once upon a time the Fedora installer was enough more likely to get the right drivers installed for your hardware (compared to any other distribution) that it was the clear choice for any expected driver issues. So far as I know, no Linux distributions fill those niches now. So you pick any popular distribution and probably it is just as good as any other popular distribution.

When you have a problem, ask about it with supporting details. 99% of the time it is not a distribution specific problem and someone will just tell you how to solve it. 1% (or less) someone will figure out it is distribution specific and easier to start over with a different distribution.
 
Old 05-27-2014, 01:08 PM   #8
TobiSGD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTexas View Post
Also I would like to run/play some of my games like Fallout 3, XCom (via Steam) and the like.
To comment on your games: Fallout 3 runs fine using the Wine application layer (have tried that), XCOM: Enemy Unknown (including the Enemy Within add-on) has just been announced to get a native Linux version this summer.
 
Old 05-28-2014, 11:39 AM   #9
DavidMcCann
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsfine View Post
More than a few years ago, after being away from Linux for so long that I was a complete newbie, I started using Linux. Based on all the advantages of Mint described by online advice, Mint was one of the first few I tried. I failed totally to get it to work.
A quick check shows you had switched to Mepis by 2009. Your problems experienced over five years ago are hardly likely to be the basis for good advice to the OP!
 
Old 05-28-2014, 12:25 PM   #10
johnsfine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidMcCann View Post
A quick check shows you had switched to Mepis by 2009. Your problems experienced over five years ago are hardly likely to be the basis for good advice to the OP!
I made very clear in my own post the fact that my experiences from years ago were not relevant to the OP's choice today.

I felt like replying to your earlier comment about Mint, but I was careful to avoid creating the impression that my reply was a rejection of the idea of using Mint now.

Last edited by johnsfine; 05-28-2014 at 12:26 PM.
 
Old 05-28-2014, 12:57 PM   #11
273
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I think now might be a good time to mention Virtual Machines. If you have a fairly modern Windows machine and just want to "see what Linux is all about" then pick up a copy of VMWare Player or VirtualBox and try a distribution or five in virtual machines. With the exception of programs which require 3D graphics it will give you a good idea of what can and can't be done under Linux and lets you trash the Linux install without causing any pain to your ordinary computing.
I'm of the same opinion as johnsfine that as things stand at least it sounds like you won't like Linux as a day-to-day OS. Hopefully if you use virtual machines, dual boot or try some live CDs though you'll find something you like enough about Linux to start thinking differently about the programs you use.

Last edited by 273; 05-28-2014 at 12:58 PM. Reason: Spell check.
 
Old 06-03-2014, 08:38 PM   #12
moisespedro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReaperX7 View Post
Visual Studios can be duplicated with KDE's Developer Suite combined with GCC and/or LLVM. Pretty much from there just research the UNIX alternatives you'll need to create possibly cross-compiled projects.

For the purpose of development of software, I honestly, and as always, would recommend Slackware because of how stable it is with software. This will allow you some abilities to see how accurate things run in a finely tuned environment for accurate debugging.
I am developing (starting) with Visual Studio (using the Ultimate 2013 version) and sorry, Kdevelop don't come even close of it.
 
  


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